Friday, September 25, 2015

Fish Traps: How to catch aquarium fish like a PRO

Over my years of keeping fish, something I have most definitely learned to be true is that fish have personality. Every fish is different and sometimes it is important to learn the habits and temperaments of your fish in order to provide them with the right type of care. Sometimes, you come across a fish that simply won’t work out in your tank, whether it be too aggressive, too shy, or just has a taste for coral ultimately the fish needs to be removed for the sake of the community in your tank.

Today we are going to show you guys how to use a fish trap and provide some helpful tips that will take the headaches out of catching that pesky fish and getting it out of your tank!

The fish trap we have at Marine Depot is one of the most effective traps I have come across and we carry two sizes. The smaller size measures 6" x 3" x 3.5" and is perfect for smaller reef fish like Chromis, clownfish, wrasses and Damsels. The larger size measures 8" x 6" x 6" and great for larger wrasses, dwarf angels and even smaller tangs. The traps have a removable bait container that holds food to bait the fish and is awesome because you can refill it without moving the trap. The strong suction cup will hold the fish trap against your tank wall making it easy to set in place without the worry of damaging anything in your tank.

When setting the trap you want to place it in a location where the targeted fish will easily notice the food and naturally feeds. For bottom dwelling fish, it is best to place the trap on the sand and for fish that feed higher in the water column, you can suction the trap higher up in the tank.

After placing the trap, fill the bait holder with the fishes' favorite food, remove the door altogether and walk away. The trap will most likely intimidate fish in your tank and may take them a few hours or even a couple of days to actually feed from the bait holder so I found it best to just wait and not set the trap until you have observed the targeted fish feeding from inside the trap. This is especially important for finicky fish as the more aggressive fish in your tank will probably go for the food right away.

Once you have observed the targeted fish feeding from the bait holder, it is time to set the trap and make your move. First refill the bait holder with some fresh food. The fish traps have a sliding door with a piece of fishing ling line attached and a small acrylic piece on the opposite end of the line. You will need to set the door open using the small acrylic piece and align it with the groove on the sliding door.

Then find a comfy chair, grab the fishing line and wait. Once the fish is observed feeding inside the trap, pull the line and the sliding door will close and trap the fish inside.

Now, I am not going to sit here and tell you this is easy and works every time. Fish are fast and smart and it will sometimes take you a few tugs on the fishing line to be successful but be persistent. Believe me when I say it is quite gratifying to finally catch that pesky fish that has been wreaking havoc in your reef.

You can visit our website or follow the link in the video description below to pick up one of these clever fish traps and if you found our video helpful, please like and share it to help us spread the word. We appreciate all of you for watching and until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.

4Shop for Fish Traps in our online store.

4Shop for Fish Containers in our online store.

4Shop Fish Nets in our online store.

Friday, September 18, 2015

10 helpful ways you can use versatile MJ pumps for your reef aquarium

MJ pumps may be the most versatile pump in the aquarium hobby.

Many hobbyists have grown to love these pumps over the years. In the not-too-distant past, they were referred to as "Maxi-Jet" pumps and sold by Marineland. Today they are simply called "MJ" pumps and sold by Cobalt Aquatics. Cobalt Aquatics' MJ pumps are made in the same Italian factory that has been manufacturing these awesome pumps since the very beginning.

We've found so many helpful ways to use these pumps at home and around the office that we decided to put together a list of our Top 10 favorite ways to use MJ pumps to show you just how awesome and versatile these little pumps can be!

1.) Mixing water for water changes
The excellent build quality of MJ pumps stands up to the abrasiveness of salt very well.

2.) Transfering water during water changes
The MJ 1200 pumps up to nearly 6 feet, which makes them the perfect cure for having to lift heavy buckets.

3.) Powering media reactors
The slower flow rate of the smaller MJ 400 is perfect for many GFO/carbon media reactors. The larger MJ 1200 can be used for many biopellet reactors.

4.) Feed pumps for external protein skimmers
The reliability of the pumps makes them great for these applications. Just set it and forget!

5.) DIY kalkwasser reactors/calcium reactors
Here's where the quality comes into play again. MJ pumps handle abrasiveness and particulates better than just about any other aquarium water pump.

6.) Blowing detritus out of rocks in your aquascape
The small size and focused outlet make them very easy to work with. Just point and shoot!

7.) Return pump for smaller aquariums
The small size and ability to handle pressure makes MJ pumps a great choice for smaller systems.

8.) Aerator for fish-only systems
The venturi attachment and flare outlet nozzle works extremely well to inject air into the water to aerate the aquarium. This helps to provide oxygen and raise pH in freshwater or fish-only marine systems.

9.) Water circulation inside an aquarium (and with a wavemaker!)
MJ pumps handle being turned on and off very well. Since wavemakers turn pumps on and off frequently to produce waves and randomized currents, MJ pumps work extremely well for this application.

10.) Pump for ATO systems
Nobody likes it when their ATO pump fails. MJ pumps are the perfect solution. ATO systems top off aquariums numerous times throughout the day and in very short durations. This frequent on/off and short running time is very hard on the pump. Due to the quality of the motor and the tight variance of production, MJ pumps are extremely dependable and handle this job extremely well.

Among all of the different powerheads I have used over the years, the MJ pumps have time and time again proven to be one of the best pumps for the price. They are affordable, extremely reliable and work very well for a variety of applications.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge with you. If you found this information helpful, please like and share it to help us spread the word!

Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on all our latest video tutorials. Please let us know in the comments how you use your MJ pump!

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.

4Shop for Cobalt Aquatics MJ Pumps in our online store.

4Shop all Submersible Powerheads in our online store.

4Watch our Pumps, Wavemakers & ATOs video playlist.

Monday, September 14, 2015

We are hiring! (temporary position)

Marine Depot is looking for temporary help in our warehouse. You must be able to recognize and identify aquarium products and equipment. This is a great opportunity for college students or anyone looking to earn extra income for the next 1-3 months. The position may be full or part-time within this period. Our normal business hours are 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.

You will work in our Garden Grove, CA headquarters. You will be splitting time working both inside our office and in our warehouse. You must be computer literate (Windows PC, web browsers) and must have the ability to lift, carry, push or pull objects up to 30 pounds. Having a camera phone would be helpful, but not required. Our ideal candidate would be familiar with saltwater aquarium parts and accessories.

The position pays $10/hour and includes generous employee discounts on aquarium and pet supplies after a short probationary period. If you're interested, please email us at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Add a Sump to Your Reef Tank with an Overflow Box

Being new to the aquarium hobby is an exciting time!

Learning about proper aquarium husbandry and exposing yourself to a variety of animals you probably didn't even know existed is fascinating. During all this excitement, it is easy to purchase a pre-fabricated all-in-one style aquarium or quickly throw together a simple tank with a canister filter and heater.

Although getting going in this fashion is fast and easy, these type of tanks can pose some frustrating problems in terms of aquarium filtration and maintenance.

This brings us to the topic today. We are going to talk all about overflow boxes and sump systems. So get ready to toss out your old canister filter and open up your tool box because we are going to show you just how easy and beneficial installing a sump and overflow can be!

A sump is simply another aquarium or container that can house your equipment and provide extra filtration for your tank. A sump is typically located below your display tank inside your aquarium stand.

An overflow box is basically a box with a drain. It is required to draw water from your aquarium into the sump. Overflow boxes are available from a number of manufacturers and you will see a wide range of different shapes and styles.

A hang-on overflow box is the easiest way to get water out of your tank and into a sump. These type of overflow boxes simply hang on the side or back of your aquarium and siphon water from your aquarium, over the edge and down into your sump.

The CPR CS Overflow Boxes are our absolute favorite because they take up very little space inside the aquarium and have a built-in feature to restart the overflow box in the event of a siphon break. The most common reason for breaking an overflow siphon is a power outage, but these intelligent CS overflow boxes have a clever remedy.

The small air nipple at the top of the overflow box can be attached to the venturi of a powerhead or an Aqua-Lifter pump. The powerhead (or Aqua-Lifter pump) will continually pull out any air trapped at the top of the overflow box to ensure smooth operation and will automatically restart the siphon after a power outage.

Some aquariums, usually called "reef ready" aquariums, are pre-drilled by the manufacturer and already have an internal overflow box installed. Water simply flows into the overflow box and drains down into your sump. A return pump then returns water from your sump back into your aquarium.

For the do-it-yourself (DIY) crowd, we carry CPR RSS Overflow Box Retrofits which are basically pre-fabricated acrylic boxes that allow you to permanently install an internal overflow in your tank without the risk of losing a siphon.

The CPR RSS Retrofit Overflow Boxes will require you to drill a hole in your aquarium. The box is then mounted inside the aquarium. You can then attach some additional plumbing parts and a drain tube down to your sump. Water will flow from the surface, into the box, then down into your sump. This option requires more work, but it results in a very clean installation with flawless operation.

Once you have decided on the overflow box and drain, it is time to choose a sump. You basically have two options, build one yourself or purchase a pre-fabricated sump. Building a sump yourself will save you money and allows you to customize the sump to your liking. It will require some solid planning, but fortunately you can find a number of DIY sump plans online to help get you started.

At Marine Depot, we carry a few different pre-fabricated sumps. Trigger Systems sumps are one of the best—their top-of-the-line Emerald Series Sumps come with all the bells and whistles built in. And look pretty darn cool, too.

Trigger Systems put a lot of thought into the design of their sumps. One of the coolest features is the filter socks holder which has an interchangeable plate that allows you to run both a coarse filter sponge and filter socks together or individually, whichever you prefer. When using filter socks, the handy water dispersion plate evenly distributes water into all of the filter socks to avoid pre-mature clogging and helps to drastically reduce the drain noise making for quieter operation.

The Emerald sumps also feature an adjustable water height to accommodate different protein skimmer requirements. A self-adjusting foam block platform helps to eliminate air bubbles, a dedicated section for filter media and a refugium, probe holders, and pre-drilled holes for your dosing tubes are among the other highlights.

Instead of having all your equipment hanging on your tank or sitting inside your display, an overflow box and sump allows you to have everything neatly hidden in your sump. Centralizing all the equipment makes maintenance and water changes much easier. The added water volume and filtration capacity will also improve your water parameters and make a more stable environment for your aquarium animals.

Now you know why so many hobbyists are using sumps! So if you are still stuck cleaning canister filters or constantly cleaning up after leaky hang-on equipment, give us a call so we can help you get everything you need to add a sump to your aquarium.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge with you. If you found this information helpful, please like and share it to help us spread the word! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on all our latest video tutorials.

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.

4Learn more about Trigger Systems Sumps in this article/video.

4Learn more about Aquarium Sumps in this article/video.

4Find out if it's time to graduate to a sump in this article.

4Shop for Overflow Boxes or Sumps on our website.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Euroquatics Angel LED Lights: Moods and Programs

Scott Bogner,  CEO and Founder of Euroquatics, gives us an in-depth overview of both the Angel A1 and Angel A1P LED fixtures in the latest Marine Depot video installment. He also provides a detailed tutorial that will help you get your new Angel LED lights up and running in no time!

The Angel LED lights from Euroquatics are packed with features that will make lighting your reef easy and worry-free. These full spectrum LEDs with color blending optics provide a beautiful output that rivals the most popular and high-end lights available for reef aquariums. The built in WiFi allows for fast simple connection to your lights.

A robust software and intuitive smartphone app make programming a breeze and gives you some of the most advanced control options available for aquarium lighting.

4Learn more about the Euroquatics A1 Angel LED Light System

4Learn more about the Euroquatics A1P Angel LED Light System

4Check out the Euroquatics Angel A1/A1P Rail Mounting Kit

4Check out the Euroquatics Angel A1/A1P Lens Kit Upgrades